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of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, OIE programs touch the lives of more Indian

children and adults in this country than any other federal education program.

The Council has consistently recommended that the Office of Indian Education

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Department of Education with the Director of OIE upgraded to

an Assistant

Secretary to report directly to

the Secretary of Education.

The Council

believes that this placement would afford Indian education the attention it


We do not believe that an Assistant Secretary's position would be

left with individuals in an acting capacity for five out of seven years.


original Indian Education Act in 1972 established OIE as a bureau under the

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an office with a fellowship program component and an adult education component

to fall within the jurisdiction of the Office of Elementary and Secondary


Mr. Chairman, your invitation to present testimony indicated that this

hearing would also focus on other Department of Education programs outside of

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education issues affecting Native Hawaiians, but it does include Indians and

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Alaska Natives.

As indicated in the first paragraphs of this document,


Council is charged with providing advice to the Secretary and recommendations

to the Congress regarding education programs in which Indian children and

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constituent population is participating, and we have included a chart of such

programs in our fiscal year 1988 annual report.

We have provided this chart

to your staff and have mailed it to our entire mailing list.

We have also

begun a bigger project to review federal education programs in which Indians

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Conference to hear from Indian and Alaska Native people the problems and

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scholarships. We will shortly be compiling a summary of these sessions, which

we will distribute to the Administration, the Select Committee, and other

appropriate Congressional committees. Consequently, we have recent input from

Indian and Alaska Native people regarding these programs and some

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current Indian/Alaska Native participation or lack thereof.

The participants in our public school issues session were concerned with

the use by school districts of Indian Education Act formula grant-funded staff - 17

to provide guidance and counseling services and often as truant officers or

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Consequently, this again goes back to the need for monitoring of the grants by

OIE staff.

We also received a telephone call just this week from a Houma

Indian from Louisiana who indicated that the school district in Theriot has

told Its Indian parent committee members that they are only advisory and do

not have to sign off on the grant application and that the school district can

spend the Indian Education Act funds as it sees fit.

Other concerns from the 18sues session indicate that Indian and Alaska

Native people are,

for the most part, unaware

of the special impact aid

provisions for school districts that claim entitlements based on the number of

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involved in the planning and development of education programs assisted with

impact aid funds.

The Council will devote part of its next newsletter to this


The BIA/tribal schools session reflected the



a working and

ongoing task force between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of

Education to work out problems which may develop with eligibility of BIA and


tribal schools for Department of Education programs.

One of the programs

already identified which exclude Indian children in tribal and BIA schools 18

the Even Start Program.

The impediment to participation 18 that the eligible

entity 18 a local educational agency (LEA), and the Department of Education

has determined that tribal and BIA schools are not LEA's.

The tribal school

representatives in this session also pointed to the overall problem of their

exclusion from the definition of "LEA" for most state-administered federal

grant-in-aid programs.

While the Council has

not yet


an official

position on

this issue, it appears that the inclusion of tribes

in the

definition of "LEA" would put then and their tribally chartered schools in a

position to deal, if they so desired, more effectively with the states to get

into the state plans and compete for state-administered federal funds


vocational education, adult education, and so forth.

Now, for the most part,

states can and do exclude tribes and tribal schools from such funds and are

able to do so because of the definition in the federal statutes.

One caveat

raised was that any inclusion in the state program should not put tribes at

odds with sovereignty issues with the states.

The Council has encouraged the

Even Start Program staff and the Office of General Counsel to interpret

statutory language to be as inclusive as possible to serve Indian and Alaska

Native children.

We would appreciate the help of the Committee

in this

"attitude change" effort with the Administration and other

Committees of

Congress since we realize that the Select Committee on Indian Affairs will not

be able to unilaterally deal with changing this definition to include tribes

in general education legislation.


Mr. Chairman, a number of tribal college presidents and representatives

attended the Council's 188ues session on tribal college concerns.

They were

particularly concerned about the dwindling funding sources with Title III

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obstructions in research programs and other general grant programs because

many such




to four-year institutions, the futility of

counting on funding from the OIE discretionary grant program, the need for

teacher training with no such funding available this year from the educational

personnel development component of OIE, and the need for operational and

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Gleska's masters program, have worked to bring teacher aides already working

in schools forward to receive degrees and take their places as


teachers of Indian youngsters.

The Council recommends that the Office of

Indian Education and the Department of Education place a special emphasis in

all programs, together with the necessary funds, to address this critical

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funding concerns with a call for a two percent set-aside for Indian and Alaska

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recommendation that an

assessment be conducted of Indian and Alaska Native

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